Are you “Imported From Detroit?”

Screen capture from "Born of Fire"

A major part of combating a national fixation on ruins and the “bad” side of Detroit is showing images and creating storylines that are just as compelling and show the rest of the city.

In one fell swoop and on a national stage, Chrysler has embraced the city with its new “Imported from Detroit” brand tagline. So much so they’re using it as their tagline for the new Chrysler 200 luxury vehicle.

The spot, called “Born of Fire,” was an instant hit on social media sites like Twitter, vaulting the lesser talked about car brand to trending status … which means one of the Top 10 things talked about on the site … in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle as well as here in Detroit. The video had more than 5,200 likes on YouTube within hours of airing. That’s rare to see with one commercial having so much force, so quickly … and the entire thing was shot in the city of Detroit with Detroit- based crew members.

As part of their comeback spirit they selected internationally known Detroiter Eminem for the commercial and his track “Lose Yourself” as the music bed. The song talks about how failure is not an option.

“The Chrysler brand, the company and its employees have adopted the principle that failure is not an option,” said Olivier Francois, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand and lead executive for marketing, Chrysler Group LLC.

Personally, I was very moved by the commercial. It was great to see the city that I’m sure many readers of this blog love front and center and painted in a light that shows the rest of the story … that there’s a lot going on here and Detroit is a place to be proud of.

The words in the spot “Now we’re from America, but this isn’t New York City nor the Windy City nor Sin City and we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City” seemed to hit a chord with me. Part of it I’m sure is that during the speech I gave earlier this year at the 140 Characters conference I talked about how we should own who we are … that “Detroit will never be New York, Chicago or L.A. Detroit should be beautifully, uniquely, creatively, Detroit.”

There are many people doing many excellent things in this city and in this region. They deserve to be highlighted and appreciated from the assembly line worker to the urban gardener to the developer to the bus driver. We’re a place like no other but also like any other. It was good to see Detroit shine on a national stage.

So are you imported from Detroit? Tell us in the comments.

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One comment on “Are you “Imported From Detroit?”

  1. The ad won't revive Detroit, and it doesn't mean the city is back per se. But it sent a strong message to the rest of the country that we're far from dead, and the fact that it's become so talked-about reflects the powerful hold that the city's music, industry and culture have on the national psyche.

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